Brave new man

It should not be a surprise that feminist fighting about sexuality is about things other than gender equality. Norms and patterns of thought are not changed over night, but instead return in a new guise time and time again until weak, concrete changes can be discerned. In the case of Swedish policy on commercial sex, I demonstrated in my book Porr, horor och feminister [‘Porn, whores and feminists’] how traditional norms of sexuality and gender were both expressed and concealed in Swedish policy, despite the radical feminist rhetoric. Good sexuality is still traditional heterosexual intercourse that takes place in a close, loving and mutually rewarding relationship. And whereas male sexuality is portrayed as aggressive and uncontrollable, female sexuality is seen as peaceful and intimacy-oriented.

Furthermore, discourses about the body often express concern at various social levels. Mary Douglas argues in Purity and Danger that the body, which i...

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Petra Östergren

Författare och doktorand i socialantropologi.

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